Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

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Jason Hare
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Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

Post by Jason Hare »

Leviticus 26:3-4
אִם־בְּחֻקֹּתַ֖י תֵּלֵ֑כוּ
וְאֶת־מִצְוֺתַ֣י תִּשְׁמְר֔וּ וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָֽם׃
 וְנָֽתַתִּ֥י גִשְׁמֵיכֶ֖ם בְּעִתָּ֑ם
 וְנָֽתְנָ֤ה הָאָ֨רֶץ֙ יְבוּלָ֔הּ
 וְעֵ֥ץ הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה יִתֵּ֥ן פִּרְיֽוֹ׃
The protasis is written as: ʾim yiqtol wə+X yiqtol wə-qatal.
The apodosis is written as: wə-qatal wə-qatal wə-X yiqtol.


Anything you find surprising or interesting?
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kwrandolph
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

Post by kwrandolph »

I see no problem with that passage. It’s perfectly good Biblical Hebrew syntax according to Biblical Hebrew uses of the conjugations.

Karl W. Randolph.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

Post by Jason Hare »

kwrandolph wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 10:46 pm I see no problem with that passage. It’s perfectly good Biblical Hebrew syntax according to Biblical Hebrew uses of the conjugations.

Karl W. Randolph.
I didn’t say it was problematic. I was asking if anyone had any comments about the structure. It is obviously perfectly good biblical Hebrew. If you’ve studied conditional forms in Greek, you know that tenses are influenced by what type of conditional the author is using (future more vivid, future less vivid, past counterfactual, present counterfactual, etc.). What can we say about conditional forms in Hebrew? Do they vary? What would this particular form represent?
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kwrandolph
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

Post by kwrandolph »

Maybe the best way to show the uses is to translate:

If you should go in my precepts
and you should watch my commands that you do them
then I will give your rains in their time
and the land will give its produce
and expect the tree of the field will give its fruit.

The first two Yiqtols are subjunctive, the final one points to expectation. The Qatals are nominative. The Waws have a wider range than just “and”.

Karl W. Randolph.
Mike Atnip
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

Post by Mike Atnip »

If you’ve studied conditional forms in Greek, you know that tenses are influenced by what type of conditional the author is using (future more vivid, future less vivid, past counterfactual, present counterfactual, etc.).
So where do I find resources that talk about this? I am totally unfamiliar with "future more vivid, less vivid, etc."
Mike Atnip
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Jason Hare
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

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Mike Atnip wrote: Sun May 28, 2023 9:37 am So where do I find resources that talk about this? I am totally unfamiliar with "future more vivid, less vivid, etc."
These refer to conditional types in Greek. My favorite Greek translation grammar is Greek: An Intensive Course by Hansen and Quinn (Fordham, 2011). In that text, they cover the most common conditional types in unit 4:

1. Future more vivid (“If he sends a messenger, they will stop the battle.”)
2. Future less vivid (“If he should send a messenger, they would stop the battle.”)
3. Present general (“If he (ever) sends a messenger, they (always) stop the battle.”)
4. Past general (“If they (ever) sent a messenger, they (always) stopped the battle.”)
5. Present contrafactual (“If he were sending a messenger, they would be stopping the battle.”)
6. Past contrafactual (“If he had sent a messenger, they would have stopped the battle.”)


There are mixed conditionals based on these basic classes, and the Greek tense and mood forms change based on the specific conditional form (and the appearance of ἄν as a particle).

I wonder what various conditional classes or types we might be able to identify in biblical Hebrew.
Jason Hare
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

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A good place to start might be with Gesenius’s grammar. The index has this for conditionals:
Conditional sentences, perfect in, 106 p: imperf. in, 107 x: cohortative in, 108 e, f: jussive in, 109 h: imperat. in, 110 f: ptcp. in, 159 v: ptcp. without אִם‎, 116 w, 159 i: perf. consec. in apodosis, 112 ff–mm: different types of, 159: without conditional particle, 112 kk, ll, 159 b–k.
Perhaps section 159 would be the appropriate place to begin, and then the rest of the sections listed here to fill in the blanks. Do you have regular access to Gesenius?
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

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After looking at Gesenius’s coverage of conditionals, it might be prudent to look at the more recent A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (2nd ed.) by Van der Merwe, Naudé, and Kroeze (Bloomsbury, 2017). They divide up the conditionals into real and unreal (hypothetical) types.

Shall we start going through Gesenius’s section 159?
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

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Gesenius’s Grammar §159.a
    1. The great variety of construction in conditional sentences is owing to the fact that it frequently depends on the subjective judgement of the speaker, whether he wishes a condition to be regarded as capable of fulfilment (absolutely, or at least possibly), thus including those already fulfilled, or as incapable of fulfilment. On this distinction depends the choice both of the conditional particle to be used (see below), and especially (as also in Greek and Latin) of the tense. The use of the latter is naturally determined according to the general principles laid down in § 106 ff.1 In the following sketch, for the sake of clearness, conditional sentences without conditional particles will be first discussed (under b), and afterwards sentences with these particles (under l).

1 It may, moreover, happen that a different idea is introduced in the apodosis, from that with which the protasis started—a source of many further variations.
In his first paragraph under §159, Gesenius sets us up to expect there to be two types of conditionals: ones that are capable of being fulfilled and ones that are incapable of being fulfilled. We should keep our eyes open for this distinction as we move forward. Greek has contrafactual conditionals that cannot be fulfilled and then a variety of forms that can still be fulfilled, based on how likely the speaker considered it to happen.

I think it might be useful to go through each section of Gesenius’s section in the meantime and perhaps offer examples of what he is saying and comment on what we think of his opinions.

It’s clear that “If I eat pizza every day, I will put on weight” is seen as a conditional that can be fulfilled while “If I hadn’t eaten pizza every day, I wouldn’t have gained so much weight” cannot be fulfilled. The one is aimed at the future, and whether I eat pizza daily can still be influenced, whereas the second is aimed at the past and talking about something that cannot be changed. We want to look out for this distinction as we go into the examples given in Gesenius and his explanations of them.

Comments? Thoughts so far?
Jason Hare
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Mike Atnip
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Re: Lev 26:3-4 — Conditional

Post by Mike Atnip »

I have access to Gesenius, Van der Merwe, and many others through Logos and Accordance (where I have many resources that I bought as packages that I have not even explored yet!) In both Greek and Hebrew I have not entered into conditionals yet, but I think the time is here for me to do so, probably as a next step. I just finished Kutz and Josberger in Hebrew (went over most of it twice). Working on Greek and Hebrew together will probably reinforce the general concepts of conditionals. But it is something I have to slow down and think through, not just memorize a few vocabulary words. :-)
Mike Atnip
May I not debate presumptuously; may I not be silent impudently. May I learn beneficial speech; may I acquire discerning silence. -Ephrem the Syrian
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